December 20, 2015
With how hot the tacos come out at Tacos Guerrero, one has ample time to sketch. For an honest Abe (that's $5, without tip) you can land two tacos and a water, which is often enough to satisfy even a midmorning hunger. Even in the thick of an Austin summer, a woman in the burnt orange food truck is out preparing an assortment of authentic Mexican dishes. Among the treasures are house made tortillas and salsa, the latter of which rests in a stone bowl outside the service window. From inside the truck, a sizzle of meat and carried scent of rendered fat drifts over the shaded picnic benches, while a roar of engines and rattling wheel bearings is cast over from the nearby Ceasar Chavez Ave. In a mere ten minutes, your order is called out and handed to you on a piping hot styrafoam plate.
Like most good, authentic Mexican restaurants, it starts with the home made tortillas. Here they have a touch of crispiness, while the freshness of the dough leaves it soft enough to tear into small portions and enjoy on its own.
Let's start with the Carnitas ($2). Simple ingredients; onions, cilantro, and moist carnitas meat. The initial burst of flavor was strong with spice, not so much as to overpower the blend of flavor from the sweet onions and earthy cilantro, but the punch was significant and might have been overbearing without proper hydration. Across from me, my eating partner wiped his brow and made a remark. "It's crazy how the heat of the food is making me sweat more."
True, the humidity and afternoon sun made for a more difficult task in enjoying piping-hot, spicy food. However, each bite promised a new sensation of flavor and it went without saying that we were in for the haul.
On to the Picadillo ($2); a traditional staple to Spain, Latin American countries, and the Philippines, with different variations by region, but best resembling hash. A concoction of ground beef, stewed tomatoes, onions, and salsa verde arrived in a heap on my tortilla. In the first few bites, I was offered a much different experience than the Carnitas, in that the intense flavor had a much more delayed reaction in my mouth, and the spice resembled more of a tomato and beef stew. Once the spice kicked in, it was reminiscent of a full bodied red wine in that the flavor was round and reached all the parts of my mouth.
For this, I admired the dish more than the Carnitas, though in most instances I would order the latter a second or third time. In all, the pair of tacos and water was a healthy dose which satisfied and was free of a greasy gut feeling or the unfriendly sensation of torched taste buds. Price, taste and mobility all considered, this truck deserves a second visit.
Ate: Carnitas taco, Picadillo taco
96 Pleasant Valley Rd Austin, TX 78702
Rating: Four Tomatoes